NEWS

Bridge Row Breaks Out

  Controversy has broken out over who is responsible for the troubled Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge in Suva. Overloading of vehicles had been blamed on cracks appearing on the Suva bridge. In
08 Jun 2016 11:58
Bridge Row Breaks Out
Land Transport Authority Enforcement Officer, Ashnil Kumar (left) use portable weighing machine as weighbridge outside Lami LTA is not working. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

 

Controversy has broken out over who is responsible for the troubled Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge in Suva.

Overloading of vehicles had been blamed on cracks appearing on the Suva bridge.

In his first public statement Naisa Tuinaceva, the Lands Transport Authority (LTA) chief executive officer (CEO) said yesterday: “Bridges don’t crack overnight and someone is sleeping on his job for not carrying out regular checks on our bridges.”

But Rory Garland, acting chief executive of Fiji Roads Authority, said: “He is entitled to his opinion. We have the advice and the backing of international engineering agencies.”

The exchange came on the 13th day since the bridge was open only to one lane-traffic causing traffic jams on either side of the bridge.

Restrictions on trucks are causing more major problems for businesses.

Mr Tuinaceva said LTA was responsible for all vehicles on Fijian roads.

He said they had set all the weight limits for all trucks travelling on Fijian roads.

For six wheelers – 15.4 tonnes, 10 wheelers – 21.4 tonnes and for 12 wheelers – 26.8 tonnes.

He said LTA was very strict on overloading.

The weights carried by the truck he said were determined by the lorry axles as they bore the weights.

In technical terms, a straight axle is a single rigid shaft connecting a wheel on the left side of the vehicle to a wheel on the right side.

The axle rotation fixed by the axle is common to both wheels.

For this year alone from January to April they made these bookings: – January – 43, February – 68, March – 78 and April- 41.

For the trucks booked, the owners he said had to pay $1000 per tonne excess load.

For those booked he said many had challenged them in court and for others they made the payment to the LTA office.

They had also issued warnings and in January they issued 38, February – 20, March – 23 and April – 8.

Mr Tuinaceva said they had weigh bridges in Lami, Lautoka and Valelevu and they also had portable weigh bridges.

As for the new 18 tonne-weight limit set for the Tamavua-i-Wai Bridge, he said that was set by the FRA.

The LTA he said had set the national weight standard.

Any cracks on bridges should not be blamed on overweight trucks as his officers were very strict on this.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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